Will the environment suffer if the world’s poor get a better standard of living?

The answer is, no. According to Oxfam:

  • Providing enough food for the 13% of the world’s people who suffer from hunger means raising world food supplies by just 1%.
  • Providing electricity to the 19% of people who currently have none would raise global carbon emissions by just 1%.
  • Bringing everyone above the global absolute poverty line ($1.25 a day) would need just 0.2% of global income.
  • In other words, it is not the needs of the poor that threaten the biosphere, but the demands of the rich. Half the world’s carbon emissions are produced by just 11% of its people, while, with grim symmetry, 50% of the world’s people produce just 11% of its emissions. Animal feed used in the EU alone, which accounts for just 7% of the world’s people, uses up 33% of the planet’s sustainable nitrogen budget.

So it is the rich that are using up the global resource budget.

Toss these statistics at someone’s face the next time they tell you that feeding the poor means your next bill at Walmart or Carrefour is going to cost more; I like to stand armed.

 

You can read the full article by George Monbiot at the Guardian from where this information was obtained.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s